What is it about Warhammer MMORPG’s and shutting down? After Warhammer: Age of Reckoning closed its doors back in 2013 due to a licensing agreement issue with Games Workshop, the release of the unique mobile MMORPG Warhammer: Odyssey gave lovers of the franchise some hope. This time, the fault doesn’t lie in the hands of Games Workshop, but rather the developer Virtual Realms, after they couldn’t recover from stagnant updates, mounting developmental accusations and a massive hack that brought down more than just Warhammer: Odyssey, but Virtual Realms other MMORPG title Celtic Heroes.
Warhammer: Odyssey showed some promise when we initially tried it back in February of 2021. The classes and the combat were especially enjoyable. The game featured zero auto-play which is a rarity for MMORPG’s on mobile. The soft launch of the game that began February of 2021 continued to extend, as the game was far from finished, even by the time the game was brought down in mid-March due to a security breach. The security breach came at a time where the development team at virtual realms was accused of spending their resources developing alternate titles instead of fulfilling their obligations to complete Warhammer: Odyssey.
Virtual Realms took to their Discord to address the concerns, stating that the game they’ve been contracted to work on, Legends of Elumia, a Play to Earn game, is a third-party title, and because it is not a Virtual Realms title, their work on it was limited, which essentially translates to, “our assistance with that project did not affect our other games”. Rumors swirled about what exactly happened, especially in relation to the hack that took down both of Virtual Realms’ flagship titles. According to a now removed Discord post, the team confirmed that source code and database information for both games was stolen during the security breach.
An anonymous source stated that the code for Legends of Elumia was also stolen in the breach, largely putting into question the amount of involvement Virtual Realms actually had with the new in-development blockchain title. The source went on to name circumstances where, before the shutdown of the Warhammer: Odyssey Discord, the team began banning people who made connections between Warhammer: Odyssey and Legends of Elumia. In the, now removed, whitepaper from Legends of Elumia there were clear indicators that the team from Legends of Elumia was made up primarily of Warhammer: Odyssey team members.
Questions remain as to why the team felt they needed to keep their involvement with Legends of Elumia a secret, but in light of the recent hack that brought down the long running, popular mobile title Celtic Heroes, which was sold to DECA Games back in February but had yet to fully transition, and the in-development Games Workshop title, it’s probably far better that the Legends of Elumia investors and players not find out about the hack that led to the loss of the source code for not just Virtual Realms 2 flagship games, but the very game they are looking forward to. This is especially disconcerting after a series of high-profile hacks stole hundreds of thousands, to millions of dollars of crypto tokens in recent months. Virtual Realms involvement in an upcoming play to earn game does not bode well if the rumors are true that their source code has been compromised.
After bringing on a third-party security contractor, Virtual Realms finally decided to give up on the project entirely. As per their final official post, the “unprecedented business complications” brought on by the pandemic, the development team decided to stop development. The fact of the matter is, no matter how they want to spin this, the team was unable to make their way back from the security breach, and they said it best themselves when they said:
“Whilst ideally we would like to leave the servers up for a period to give those of the community who wish to a chance to say farewell, unfortunately the cirumstances are such that this is not viable.”
-Difinitus, Warhammer Odyssey Discord
It was obvious that it wasn’t the servers that prevented the team from bringing the servers up for players to say goodbye. In the end, it’s somewhat of a sad tale, as Warhammer: Odyssey was one of the few mobile MMORPGs that actually felt like an MMORPG. While it never truly came to completion, and many of the features were still plainly a work in progress, it was a great indicator that more traditional MMORPGs can make it on mobile. Just as long as they have a secure studio behind them, and they have their priorities in the right place.
*we could not reach Virtual Realms for comment on this article due to an inactive discord, twitter, and both the warhammer odyssey and virtual realms website are no longer operational.